Wednesday, February 1, 2012

McCalmont Earns Sovereign Award Nomination

We at TURF are pretty darn excited that one of our own, Keith McCalmont, is nominated for a Sovereign Award this year in the category of Best Newspaper Story.  I suppose it's a sign of the times that his article was published on Woodbine's online newspaper,, but wherever you'd publish it,the article was a great piece of work and gave a lot of insight into race preparation leading up to the Breeders' Cup.

Below is the text of the press release from TURF.  Enjoy Keith's writing, and the other TURF members, from our home page at

TURF: An International Gathering of Horse Racing Bloggers

TURF Member McCalmont Honored As Sovereign Award Finalist

For Immediate Release

January 28, 2012

Contact:               Ted Grevelis

Woodbury, MN – TURF member Keith McCalmont ( was announced as a finalist for a prestigious Sovereign Award for Outstanding Newspaper Story for his story, Emma’s Great Excaper, published on on November 2, 2011.

“It is an honour to be nominated for this award alongside a pair of talented, Sovereign Award winning, writers such as Beverley Smith and Allan Besson,” said McCalmont of the nomination.

Ostensibly a preview of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, the story was a rare glimpse into the development of a potential champion and the bond between horse and rider.  While finishing 2nd in the Juvenile Turf, the 33-1 long shot ran a determined race, validating trainer Ian Black’s decision to retain Breeders’ Cup rookie Emma-Jayne Wilson, Excaper’s regular pilot, in the horse’s biggest race to date.

“I'm forever thankful to jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson who made telling this story a simple task,” McCalmont continued.  “Emma generously shared the details of the months of conditioning, engineered by trainer Ian Black that went into building up a Breeders' Cup calibre horse.  My job, as a writer sharing her anecdotes, was simply to stay out of the way.  I won't soon forget the smile on Emma's face following their second-place finish in the Juvenile Turf, or the kiss that an exuberant Black planted on her cheek during the post-race interview.  Little moments like that are what horse racing is all about.”

“This is the third straight year that Keith has been nominated for a Sovereign Award,” said Valerie Grash, founding member of the international bloggers’ group, “and we couldn’t be prouder of his achievements. His unique insider’s view of Woodbine racing, along with his deep love of the sport, permeates his writing and allows him to bring to light stories of extraordinary depth and clarity.”

Sovereign Award winners will be announced at a ceremony on April 5, 2012 at Woodbine Race Track in Toronto.

About the Sovereign Awards: The Sovereign Awards are presented annually by the Jockey Club of Canada to the finest in Thoroughbred racing, breeding and media coverage. 

About TURF: TURF is an international community of seasoned bloggers, active at various levels in the horse racing industry—as owners, breeders, trainers, professional turf writers and fans. Our primary interest is in exploring and sharing our love for the sport through our individual blogs and via social media outlets, as well as through collaborative endeavors. We stress responsible and ethical writing, often tackling tough or controversial issues, but always encouraging respectful dialogue and offering unique points of view.


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